Asus Fonepad Review
Note: The Asus Fonepad model being reviewed is equipped with 16GB of storage and only a front-facing camera. In some markets, Asus is offering a Fonepad model with a 3.2MP main camera in addition to the front-facing cam, but with only 8GB of on-board storage.
Is it a phone or is it a tablet? Well, it is a little bit of both, actually. Here we have the Asus Fonepad – a 7-inch Android slate with 3G connectivity and an earpiece allowing it to make phone calls. It is a peculiar device, to say the least, yet that doesn't mean it costs an arm and a leg. In fact, the Asus Fonepad is priced at only about $250, which is a reasonable figure considering what you get in exchange. Read on to learn more about it!
In the box:
- Wall charger
- microUSB cable
- User guide and warranty information
“Tablets” and “metal” are two words that we rarely get to use in the same sentence. After all, premium materials are rarely used in the construction of such devices, especially when they are marketed at a price point that low. The Asus Fonepad, however, is an exception as it sports a beautiful back plate with metallic finish, which gives it a solid, premium feel. The only placticky bit on the back is the slide-off cover, behind which reside the slots for microSD and micro SIM cards and the cellular antenna.
While it isn't the lightest tablet of this size, at 340 grams, the Asus Fonepad isn't that heavy either. In fact, the device is comfortable to hold thanks to its ergonomic shape, balanced weight, and grippy surface. Grasping it as if we were to hold a smartphone, on the other hand, gets our wrist tired quickly, so we'd recommend holding the Fonepad from the bottom, with four fingers supporting the weight of the tablet and thumb resting on the bezel. Speaking of the bezel surrounding the screen, it is reasonably slim, although if one isn't careful, the presence of the user's thumb might accidentally register as a tap on the touchscreen.
Asus has chosen to go with virtual buttons for navigation through the Android interface, so no capacitive keys are seen on the tablet's front side. There are just the earpiece, the front-facing cam, and the light sensor situated at the unit's upper side. The power and volume keys are located on the left side of the Asus Fonepad and provide excellent tactile feedback.
Asus has equipped the Fonepad with a good-looking IPS LCD touchscreen. Its specs aren't anything out of this world, but 7-inch tablets have yet to go further in terms of display quality. The panel offers wide viewing angles and resolution of 800 by 1280 pixels, which makes it perfectly suitable for common every-day scenarios, ranging from looking at photos and videos to surfing the web.
The color representation of the display is on the neutral side and we like it that way. However, users who are more into punchy colors can use the pre-loaded ASUS Splendid app, which allows fine-tuning of the screen's color saturation and balance.
Using the Asus Fonepad outdoors is definitely possible. When looked at from the right angle, the tablet's display is readable so you can still navigate through your contacts, shoot emails, or browse web pages. To make the display even easier to see outdoors we recommend turning on the “Outdoor Mode”, which boosts the brightness even further than the manual settings would allow.